Connected Wearables, Engaged Humans


One of the main topics that were king during the past South by Southwest, which by the first time I attended, was Connected Wearables and its evolution to be more than just a piece of trendy design that inspires you on the short-term to be a bit more active.

While it is quite obvious that wearable is the path in which mobility needs to evolve, the industry still needs to pass through the hype phase in which design, novelty and trendiness are king.

Personal motivations drive the consumption and usage of products. In this precise relationship is when a product really satisfies a need. Companies cannot expect people to use a product if it is not build in this way from the very beginning.

In order to reach this level of satisfaction, companies need to start learning what motivates their potential users. This knowledge of this insight and its contextualization will drive later on to the Understanding of what do these users actually need. Once they have identified, Motivation, Context and Need, it´s the moment when they can start illustrating the way they are going to fulfill that necessity while at the same time defining the measures they are going to use to track it in order to make it interesting enough for the user to maintain his attention going far beyond the novelty status.

After learning everything about who, what, where, when and how, companies should start thinking about the piece of technology that they are going use in order to close the circle.

In other words, if you don´t need it why should you be wearing it?

This is exactly the dilemma that are facing gadgets such as Nike Fuelband, Fitbit or Jawbone. How you go beyond technology and trendiness to deliver products that can solve real needs.

Some of the solutions that were outspoken during the South by Southwest were: how the Wearable could be more engaged with cellphones so they can use their functionalities to deliver better and deeper information (for example if your heart rate suddenly raises and you are not doing any exercise your cell phone could be able to tell you more about the context of the info, maybe by adding some pictures to the info, or by just adding the song you are listening to); how Big Data will help understand better the information and will definitely add more value to the outcome of the wearable; how it could project a certain situation based on previous tracking; or how it could through empathic fabrics adapt better to users’ needs.

To wrap up, there is still a long way to go and the opportunities are many to explore, not just for companies that build this sort of products but also for companies that are looking to engage more deeply with their consumers.

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